Bill Cosby released, conviction overturned (vacated) on rights issue
... after serving 2 years of his 5 - 10, sentenced for giving quaaludes to a woman who said he later sexually assaulted her.
The judge said Cosby's due process rights had been seriously violated in the trial because a prosecutor had made a deal with Cosby under the table, after which Cosby in his statement included that he had given quaaludes to a woman he was pursuing years earlier.
Some have said the judge with this move has set a precedent that, although police are notoriously allowed to lie to pursue convictions, when a prosecutor makes a deal saying he won't prosecute that's basically equivalent to an immunity deal. If later judges follow his lead. However, I don't know that DAs were ever allowed to lie to get testimony the way police currently are.
Another option the court could have taken is to send the case down for another trial, without using the evidence the judge said he didn't like.
From the ruling: "In accordance with the advice his attorneys, Cosby relied upon D.A. Castor’s publicannouncement that he would not be prosecuted. His reliance was reasonable, and itresulted in the deprivation of a fundamental constitutional right when he was compelledto furnished self-incriminating testimony. Cosby reasonably relied upon theCommonwealth’s decision for approximately ten years. When he announced hisdeclination decision on behalf of the Commonwealth, District Attorney Castor knew thatCosby would be forced to testify based upon the Commonwealth’s assurances. Knowingthat he induced Cosby’s reliance, and that his decision not to prosecute was designed todo just that, D.A. Castor made no attempt in 2005 or in any of the ten years that followedto remedy any misperception or to stop Cosby from openly and detrimentally relying uponthat decision. In light of these circumstances, the subsequent decision by successorD.A.s to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby’s due process rights. No other conclusioncomports with the principles of due process and fundamental fairness to which all aspectsof our criminal justice system must adhere."
However, legal professionals have asked whether Cosby should be saved from bad legal advice to wave his fifth, which he may have done in the interest of not looking guilty in front of the jury.